There is abundant literature on the positive benefits of physical activity. However, research on the relationship between physical activity/fitness and different aspects of sexuality is limited. Research shows that there is a relationship between a physical active lifestyle and the individual’s sexual performance and satisfaction (Krucoff & Krucoff, 2000; Stanten & Yeager, 2003).
Sedentary men could greatly reduce their probability of having erectile dysfunction by being more active (Stanten & Yeager, 2003). Aspects of fitness such as endurance and body composition contributed to the improvement of sexual performance (Krucoff & Krucoff, 2000). A study was done by Bortz and Wallace (1999) on more than 500 physically active male and female participants with ages of 50 and above to examine the relationship between physical fitness, aging and sexuality. They reported that sexual satisfaction appeared to correlate with the level of fitness. They concluded that physical fitness and high levels of sexual activity are mutually supportive aspects of successful aging.
A more recent study done by Young and Penhollow (2004) examined the relationship of exercise frequency and self-reported fitness levels on perceived sexual desirability and sexual performance. Data was conducted through a questionnaire on 408 undergraduate students (71% females and 29% males). Results suggested that in spite of differences among different genders, generally those who exercised more frequently and had higher physical fitness level, had better perception of their sexual performance and desirability. The authors suggested that people who were relatively more fit and exercised frequently had a more positive self-perceived body image which may lead to increased confidence in their sexual performance and desirability. They were also healthier which may lead to an increased ability and willingness to be sexually active.
Conclusion: Having a physically active lifestyle not only improves your health and fitness, it can also improve your sex life. So if you want to improve your current sex life or seek to maintain it as you age, make sure you exercise frequently and stay in shape!
Bortz, W. M. 2nd, & Wallace, D. H. (1999). Physical fitness, aging, and sexuality. Western Journal of Medicine, 170, 167-175.
Krucoff, C., & Krucoff, M. (2000). Peak performance. American Fitness, 19, 32-36.
Stanten, N., & Yeager, S. (2003). Four workouts to improve your love life. Prevention, 55, 76-78.
Young, M., & Penhollow, T. (2004). Sexual desirability and sexual performance: does exercise and fitness really matter?. Electronic Journal of Human Sexuality, 7.
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